If decommissioned, all water rights associated with the project will be used to provide additional habitat for Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. PG&E are joined in the collaborative agreement by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Game, the National Park Service, California State Water Resources Control Board, NOAA Fisheries, Trout Unlimited and Friends of the River.

As part of the agreement PG&E will not seek a new federal operating licence for the Killarc-Cow Creek project in Shasta County, east of Redding, California. The agreement also identifies the necessary actions for decommissioning, including long term treatment or removal of project facilities and the return of stream flows now diverted from South Cow and Old Cow creek.

Although PG&E began working with stakeholders and resource agencies in 2001 in an effort to renew the project’s operating licence, the company decided that the provisions it would have to make to obtain the licence would result in the project no longer being an economic source of power for its customers.

The signed agreement will now be forwarded to the Federal Energy Regulatory Comission (FERC) for review and action.

A third party could obtain the licence and continue to run the project, purchasing the project facilities from PG&E. If this does not happen then FERC will direct PG&E to prepare a plan to decommission the project. Under the agreement, PG&E will continue to operate the project until the current licence expires on 27 March 2007, and on annual licences thereafter until the project is either acquired by another licencee or is decommissioned.

The Kilarc-Cow Creek project totals 5MW, 3.2MW from the Kilarc power house on Old Cow creek and 1.8MW from the Cow Creek powe rhouse on South Cow creek.